13 Books By Successful Women That’ll Actually Help Your Career


It’s the start of September and a quasi-New Year vibe is taking hold as the kids go back to school and out-of-offices are turned off following the summer break. Many will return to work with renewed vigour for the months ahead. Others will be wondering where to take their career next, and are probably in need of a splash of inspiration. But where to source it?
 
Speaking as someone who runs their own business, there are days – weeks even – when I crave the comfort of a salary. Other days are lonely, and in order to solve a thorny problem you reach for a blueprint that doesn’t exist. Sometimes you need a good book to snap you out of it. This equally applies to salaried employees, at all levels and in every sector.
 
So-called ‘self-help books’ are not necessarily located in the self-help section. The books which have the most profound effect on me are those which are not ostensibly about career but teach us how to handle a particular facet of it or explain why the workplace operates in a certain way.
 
So if you’re in need of a boost, here are my top 13 new books by women which will supercharge your career, one page at a time.

Money management: You’re Not Broke You’re Pre-Rich: How to streamline your finances, stay in control of your bank balance and have more £££ by Emilie Bellet
 
In her former life as a Lehman Brothers analyst, Emilie Bellet was taking home a sizeable pay packet but saving none of it. Sound familiar? Bellet, now the founder of Vestpod, shares actionable tips and no-nonsense practical advice on how "you can have your avocado on toast and stop renting and start saving too". As I discovered when I interviewed her recently, it’s all part of her mission to empower one million women financially, and break the taboo around women talking about money.
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Open Up: Why Talking About Money Will Change Your Life by Alex Holder
 
There is growing recognition that financial health is just as important as mental and physical health – and that lacking it can have a profound impact on both. Open Up tackles the ludicrous stigmatisation of women who talk about money in relation to ambition. As I have always believed, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make a packet as long as you do it in the right way.
Go Fund Yourself by Alice Tapper
 
If you’re looking for a really practical book on managing your finances better, this is for you. Go Fund Yourself is packed full of expert advice, fresh insights and practical exercises to help you end your profligate ways. With a step-by-step guide featuring seven strategies for personal finance, this is the personal finance handbook everyone needs in their life.
Resilience building:
No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg
 
The face of the movement to tackle our climate crisis, and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize at an age when most of us were busy drinking in the local park, Greta Thunberg is nothing if not an inspiration. These collated speeches make a compelling case for the world to get its act together but also serve as a case study in the importance of resilience and determination as you work towards your goals. "People tell me that I’m retarded, a bitch and a terrorist," she says. "But I want you to act as if your house is on fire."
Tackling sexism in the workplace: Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls by Carrie Goldberg

Arguably the defining book of the #MeToo era so far, victims’ rights lawyer Carrie Goldberg shares tales of past and ongoing cases as well as her personal horror story in this "powerful resource for readers dealing with abuse and harassment". A timely reminder that we require a zero-tolerance approach to sexually aggressive behaviour in the workplace, and beyond.
Sex Power Money by Sara Pascoe
 
In a golden era of women comedians – let’s face it, we’ve overtaken men on the British circuit – Sara Pascoe combines witty observations with poignant, searing truth. Sex Power Money doesn’t address your career directly, but it lays out how our patriarchal society has created the conditions for men to flourish in work and women to be kept firmly in their place.
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Period by Emma Barnett
 
If you think that your period has nothing to do with your career, think again. Journalist and broadcaster Emma Barnett draws on personal experiences in this fiercely honest, taboo-smashing, laugh-out-loud funny book about the menstrual cycle. A must-read for anyone wanting to navigate discussions about women’s issues in the 21st century.
Inspiration: From the Corner of the Oval Office: One woman’s true story of her accidental career in the Obama White House by Beck Dorey-Stein
 
The incredible story of how one woman’s offhand response to a Craigslist posting landed her a job alongside the most powerful man in the world. Years of toiling for endless hours and the heartbreak of a failed workplace relationship gave way to a multimillion-dollar book deal when Dorey-Stein left the White House. This is an apolitical, fundamentally human story, and one with which many women will identify.
A Woman of Firsts: The Midwife Who Built a Hospital and Changed the World by Edna Adan Ismail
 
My podcast, She Started It, celebrates pioneering women from all walks of life. Edna Adan Ismail would be the perfect candidate for a future episode. The first midwife in war-torn Somaliland became the country’s first female cabinet minister. A truly inspirational story of triumph over adversity.
Empowerment: Everything is Figureoutable: One Simple Belief to Create Unstoppable Success by Marie Forleo
 

As the title suggests, Marie Forleo has written a guide to hauling yourself out of the doldrums on the days when you can’t see past a problem. Sometimes you need a good kick up the bum and as a subscriber to her online business course B-School, I count myself a true believer. If you need a career cheerleader, look no further. If relentless positivity and an undimmed can-do spirit grinds your gears, this probably isn’t for you.
The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman and global advocate for women and girls. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda drives forward the mission of social progress around the world. Her message in this book is simple: if you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down. Inspired by her work and travels over the last 20 years, this is a book that will lift you up and inspire you, through personal anecdotes, stories and writing laden with emotion.
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Practical advice: The Mother of All Jobs: How to Have Children and a Career and Stay Sane(ish) by Christine Armstrong
 

A manifesto for the working parent, The Mother of All Jobs draws on the wisdom of working women everywhere to help parents navigate the modern world of work. Armstrong shares humorous and honest insights into the realities of juggling parenthood and careers, to help guide the next generation of working parents in the UK.
Brave New Girl: 7 Steps to Confidence by Chloe Brotheridge
 
Nobody is born with a swagger. Confidence is something that can be taught, built and refined – and this book, by renowned clinical hypnotherapist and anxiety expert Chloe Brotheridge, will show you how to do it. Drawing on her own stories, research and experiences, Chloe will teach you how to be more confident, self-believing and reach your full potential, with a simple seven-step formula. A must-read for anyone needing to build themselves up from the inside out.
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